web analytics


I’m all for breastfeeding but this does not help

Gisele Bundchen has been in the press recently saying that there should be a law that compels women to breastfeed for six months.

Whilst I’m decidedly pro breastfeeding, this sort of comment is anything but helpful.

Yes, only a very small percentage of women are medically unable to breastfeed their baby exclusively.

But there are many women who don’t breastfeed because of hopelessly inadequate support, mixed information from health care professionals, inaccurate information about the benefits of breastfeeding (or the benefits of bottle feeding) and the continuous undermining of women breastfeeding that occurs in our society.

So what about them?

Would you fine a woman who has already had to cut short her breastfeeding relationship with her baby before she wants to because her Health Visitor told her that she didn’t have enough milk when actually it was just the natural changes in her milk production aligned with the big four month growth spurt?

Would you imprison a mother who reluctantly gave up breastfeeding after 6 painful bouts of mastitis in 6 weeks and couldn’t find the help to ensure she wouldn’t have to go through another period of pain?

Would you retroactively punish mothers who gave their baby formula because they believed it was giving them the best nutritional start available?*

And Gisele, do you really think that your remarks will come over as anything other than smug? ┬áThat these remarks will allow the media to continue to focus on perpetuating the ‘battle’ between formula and breastfeeders.

Instead perhaps you should have spoken about how your breastfeeding relationship has been helped by a supportive partner, help in the home, sufficient information on the benefits of breastfeeding to motivate you to breastfeed your baby and the resources you needed to enable you and your baby to learn the skills necessary to breastfeed.

And perhaps used the media platform to speak about how as a society we should be providing those things to every new mother so that they can all hopefully have the foundations in place to allow them to breastfeed for as long as they want to.

*all of these are mothers I’ve seen at the breastfeeding support group I help to run

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

13 comments to I’m all for breastfeeding but this does not help

  • hpretty

    >Apologies for my language, but Gisele is a **ckhead. What a stupid thing to say. Why don't we make it law for women to give birth with no pain relief, and stay at home with their kids too?


  • Anonymous

    >Taking away more choice from women is never going to be a step forward for babies. While I think laws are great ways to lead society to be more accepting of change, it would in this case be another blow to mothers. A better law would be to pay mothers thier pre pregnancy slaty for 6 months so they could breastfeed without the burden of money hassles.

    As if being a mother in this modern era wasn't hard enough!

  • Kerry

    >I have to say this really really annoyed me. I didn't breastfeed I didn't even try. My mother had so many problems with breastfeeding, she couldn't do it for either of us. My sister tried with my niece not wanting to but felt she should by the midwives and was very poorly got lots of infections etc so gave up. When I feel pregnant with Baba it was one thing I was certain off. To be honest I didn't really produce any milk so don't know whether I would have managed it. But I felt like a contagious person because I said no to breastfeeding. I actually changed my midwife to another area, as all she kept telling me was that I was making a terrible mistake not breastfeeding, I wouldn't lose my baby weight I had a greater risk of breast cancer. Now I know I am going out on a limb here, but I felt that I was being scared into breastfeeding. I hated it so left her.

    I totally don't regret my decision and I would be exactly the same again. After all my children are just that mine, what I feel happy doing with them is what we do and no one is going to tell me how I am supposed to do that. I feel that it is a very misguided comment, I have a lot of friends the same as me and they are very annoyed with this article.

    I agree with you she should have talked about what a good experience it was the support she got etc, not that it should be law!

    Sorry ranting very annoyed about this xxx
    Great post by the way x

  • Lauracymft

    >I believe it is down to the mother of the child how they choose to feed their baby. I struggled to feed my 1st myself and had to stop and have managed to feed my 2nd myself and continue to do so. I think she's made a really silly comment here and whilst it may be her opinion I don't think it should have been one to share that will cause a lot of distress to woman who can't feed their babies themselves for whatever reason. Great post!

  • Heather

    >I do wonder though that had she said any of things that you suggest, the sensible and responsible things, if it would have been reported by the media at all. I'm not condoning what she said, a law would be a ridiculous things and yes it comes across as terribly smug and upper class, however we have to bear in mind that the media only want 'newsworthy' stories. Someone saying sensible things in a responsible manner just doesn't cut it usually.

    It's so sad and baffling that this breastfeeding/bottle battle is *still* going on. Why have women not figured out yet that the best way to get through life is to support each other not tear each down? It's terrible that we are like this, isn't it?

  • Nickie @ Typecast

    >The punishment for not breastfeeding your child for 6 months?

    A day with Gisele.

  • angelica

    >I read this today and got pretty pissed off.

    I'm a big supporter of BF, a supporter of all things natural… it doesn't matter, you nailed why, cause she is using her platform to misinform instead of inform. cause she is playing all the challenges down instead of being supportive.

    women give birth naturally every day, and women die doing it every day, ALSO in europe and the US.

    kudos to her for having both the time and the money to do yoga, meditation and kung fu every day.

  • Gillian D

    >Man alive! Way to make women feel even more guilty. We don't need any more reasons to feel guilty as parents, never mind thinking that you might be breaking the law. I'm an ardent supporter of breastfeeding, and have been fortunate enough to breastfeed my two boys for as long as they wanted. That said, I'm well aware that many women struggle to breastfeed, with minimal support or sheer misinformation. I was supported enough to help me through two difficult breastfeeding experiences, but not everyone has that… I agree with Heather that women need to get on with it, and support each other whatever decisions we make.

  • family vie

    >Great article, very sound points well put. I can only imagine she was either very naive or else on some kind of weird publicity drive.

  • Baking Mad Mama

    >I also wrote a post about this as I was so cross! I am completely aware of the benefits of breastfeeding but sadly – despite a lot of effort – wasn't able to bf my son. Does this make me a rotten mother? I don't think so. She is obviously completely ignorant of the struggles that so many women face when it comes to breastfeeding. Grrr.

  • Mwa

    >You are so right! I think this will only scare some people off, and give others a big guilt trip they didn't need.

  • Noble Savage

    >I don't agree with what she said at all but I have to wonder if it wasn't a case of misunderstanding due to English being her second language? I thought perhaps she meant there should be laws in place that would encourage women to breastfeed for at least six months, like paid maternity leave, the right to pump at work, etc.. I could be wrong, of course, but find it hard to believe someone could say something so asinine so tried to give her the benefit of the doubt that her words were either a) taken out of context or b) deliberately misinterpreted by a frenzied media desperate for headlines and controversy. Who knows.

    This is the kind of comment we need to just roll our eyes at and ignore. Gisele is not exactly in a position to make anything law, is she! Now if David Cameron said this we could rightly be worried…

  • Babies who brunch

    >Obviously Gisele's comments were annoying, but the way the Mail wrote up the story was even worse. They seem to have it in for b/f mums if you ask me.

    And actually, what I wanted to know, was why if Gisele is so saintly, she didn't b/f for 12 months, or even 24? Because that's what babies really want.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>